My Fitness Journey

My Fitness Journey

First of all, I would like to thank my online blogger buddy, Shruti C Thakkar for introducing me. She blogs at Creative Pencil. Her blog is one with several interesting posts and I head for it every time I feel the itch for a thought-provoking read.
Now, on to my article. If you walk along the streets of Chennai or any rural village in Tamil Nadu in the evenings, you will find mothers holding their children on their waists, pointing to the moon and feeding them what is fondly referred to by Tamilians as ‘Thachchi Mammu’. In case you are wondering what this ‘Thacchchi Mammu’ is, let me assure you it is not some exotic dish eaten by the tribes of Congo that made its way to Tamil Nadu. It is simply curd rice. My mother brought me up predominantly on rice and even now I find it very difficult to resist a plateful of curd rice with a liberal dollop of ‘Avakkai pickle’
Because of being brought up mostly on rice, most vegetarians from Tamil Nadu become inordinately fond of rice items and tend to eat rice for almost every meal. At least, that was the case in most vegetarian households like mine. Rotis and Chappathis rarely find a place in the food eaten in most Tamilian vegetarian households. Well as destiny would have it, I married a non-vegetarian and that brought me into close proximity to non-vegetarian food. I tried out everything I could lay my hands on.  Chicken, fish, prawns, I tried them all.
Of these, I loved Chicken and prawns the most. I love spicy prawns made in the typical Kerala style with a lot of onions and masala. I am also extremely fond of sweets like Laddu, Gulab Jamun, Maalaadu (a special kind of Laddu which is made only in south India), Kaju Katli and several others. And as far as Black Forest pastries are concerned I am ready to sink my teeth into one any time of the day or night. I also love Pizzas and French Fries.
As a result of indulging in tasty food over several years, ably supplemented by a sedentary lifestyle, I ended up putting on weight severely. I kept telling myself that I would soon start off with exercises and everything would be fine. In addition to being overweight, three years back I was diagnosed as a severe diabetic with a high cholesterol level. This was really surprising because our family does not have a history of Diabetes from either my father’s side or my mother’s side. The doctor informed me that I was suffering from Type-II Diabetes and at that point in time my HBA1C reading was 9 which was extremely high and meant steps had to be taken to bring the sugar levels down immediately.
My weight was 100 kgs. The doctors immediately prescribed a high dose of Metformin and a strict diet to bring the sugar levels down. Here is what the doctor told me to avoid in order to improve my health and longevity and get fit once more. I had to end my wonderful long-lasting love affair with rice, especially ‘Thachchi Mammu’ and ‘Avakkai pickle’. The doctors advised subsisting on the minimum rice-intake possible. This meant I had to switch to eating Chappathis and Rotis as a staple diet. I was really upset. But well, I had no choice. Health, after all, is important. For the last three years, I have been mainly eating Rotis and Chappathis as a staple diet.
The second thing the doctors advised me was to do with my intake of sweets. At least when it came to rice, I did not have to completely give it up. But as far as sweets were concerned the doctors were very clear. ‘No more sweets’ was the cardinal rule. Same went for Black Forest pastries. And though I find it very difficult to avoid sweets at times, I am managing to say no to sweets by and large. Then came junk food. I had told the doctors I loved Pizzas, French Fries and junk food of all kinds. I had been indulging severely in these. They told me to reduce it as far as possible. In fact, they told me it would be better to completely give it up. So, Pizzas and French Fries, another favourite, went out of the window.

As far as non-vegetarian items were concerned they told me to avoid Prawns as they had too much fat content and added to one’s weight. Of all the non-veg food I had taken to, it was prawns that I liked best. In fact, I loved it even more than Chicken. Well, being in my position if the doctor says so, you had to do it. They told me to avoid many fruits as I was a diabetic. The first fruit they mentioned was Mango which again was my favourite. My heart cried in anguish. The other fruits I had to avoid were Cherries, Grapes, Pineapples and Banana. When it came to fruits I tried to argue with the doctor. I told him this was the first time someone was telling me that fruits could be bad for health. The doctor patiently convinced me that this was indeed the case. So, there it was, the final nail in the coffin. Several fruits to be avoided.

Well, the next question you may have is, ‘have I been able to diligently follow this diet?’ Well, the answer is by and large, yes. And the reason I have been able to follow the diet is mainly due to the meticulous care and attention my wife and my twelve-year-old daughter bestow on my health. They just won’t let me eat anything that is not suitable for me and continuously keep tabs on what I consume. The next question that comes to the mind is, ‘has it been effective?’ Well, as far as Diabetes is concerned the answer is a big ‘yes’. My HBA1C level has now dropped to 6.8 which means ‘diabetic but in excellent control’. But the weight is still a problem. The doctors tell me to walk for at least one hour daily but my busy work schedule does not permit that. But never mind, I am planning to shelve some of my official responsibilities soon which means I would get more time for exercise.

Hopefully, that would bring down my weight as well. So, you see my fitness journey is still ongoing. I have managed to control Diabetes, but I need to work on my weight problems. I have enjoyed sharing my experience with Diabetes and weight issues with all of you. I hope you find it useful.

I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce Surbhi Prapanna who is a Homeopathic therapist by profession and is an ardent blogger, writer and nature lover. She blogs at Surbhi’s Crazy Creative World. She writes extensively on medical ailments and their cures.
I am participating in the ‘Get Fit, Stay Fit’ blog party with BonHappetee!
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13 thoughts on “My Fitness Journey”

  1. Oh wow.. What a journey. My heart bleeds for you. If someone tells me no more mangoes I would probably run off to the woods. But I am happy you have people who constantly push you and you are well going stronger. Good luck.

  2. I am sure it would have been tough for you. My husband has a very stressfull job and has to travel 2.5 hours daily to reach his workplace. Same goes for return journey. So he would reach home by 11:00 pm sometimes even at 12:00. Then he would have his dinner which consiisted of typical high calorie gujju food. He got diagnosed with high cholestrol levels. He could have got diabieties as well as he could inherit it from his mom but i guess he was lucky this time. He loves sweets as well. He can eat lots of biscuits. He was over 100 kgs in weight as well. Why I am telling you this? Because i guess his experience will help you. The doctor is my friend. She gave us one month. She said if we change his habits she will not put him on medication. He gave up on sweets, fried food, late dinners. Since over two years now he carries his dinner with him which is protien rich salads or oil free parathas and steemed food items. He eats dinner by 7:30 pm. Takes stairs and short walks. Without any exercise he has lost over 20 kgs. And the cholestrol has gone in a period of 3 months , never to come back.
    Make small changes in lifestyle and live a healthy life. My best wishes are with you. You are doing fab. Giving up on favourite food is extremely difficult. I see that challenge daily. Well done and keep it up.

  3. Here goes an ode from me to you, Sir!

    I know it's not easy giving up one's cardinal pleasure & indulgence in food. It's almost like telling a drug addict to stop his doses of pleasure!

    Well, I also have quit a lot of foods/drinks that were an integral part of my go-to platter list, which really messed my lifestyle up. Surprisingly at a much young age rendering my weight to be always on the higher end & worsening my acne.

    I had no medical person to advise me on quitting things cold turkey. But I myself went through a lifestyle epiphany upon visualising my future.

    I once again laud you for being able to take control of your health once & for all.

    Your journey is inspiring!

  4. When someone shares their personal journey, it becomes an educative and inspiring post.

    Not happy to hear of your health issues and that you had to give up your favourite foods because of it.

    Very proud to read of the changes you've made and the results you've achieved because of it.

    Just like you've mastered your writing, I have no doubts that if you put your mind to it, you will take control and master your health too.

    Best wishes, and thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  5. Being a tamilian i could very well relate to our affinity towards rice. For a minute there, all the mouth watering delicacies were about to start a serious craving but then you turned your attention to your personal journey and health issues. Your post will definitely inspire many to follow a healthy eating habit.

  6. This is a perfect example of perseverance for fitness. I recon that until one is intrinsically motivated one cannot achieve any goals, especially fitness goals. Kudos to you for your ongoing journey

  7. You have set an example, for control and will, its inspiring for many who want to try. Glad you controlled diabetes its a victory soon you will control weight too.

  8. Very nice post, taking care of yourself is equally important for all women, I make sure I get some tike for me, water yoga makes me happy and keep me fit. And yes I make sure to avoid packed ready to eat food.

  9. I'm very happy to see you sticking to the doctor's advice and having such a strong support system in your wife and daughter. My mother had diabetes and as a result our whole family isn't fond of sweets as we didn't want to eat without her!
    All the best for your journey, Jai. You'll get there soon.

  10. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease which surely needs a lot of monitoring on different fronts mainly food. I know how difficult it must be for you but health first and you are doing great. Just include regular walk for at least 30-45 minutes everyday.

  11. That would have taken immense self-control and will power. I can't imagine that it would have been easy but happy to know that it was effective. Hats off to you!

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